Viking Grace to Become 1st Ship with Wind Propulsion System

Illustration of Viking Grace with one Norsepower Rotor Sail; Image Courtesy: Norsepower

Finnish provider of auxiliary wind propulsion systems Norsepower Oy has inked an agreement with compatriot shipping company Viking Line to install its Rotor Sail Solution onboard the M/S Viking Grace, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) -fueled cruise ferry.

The project is the first modern auxiliary wind propulsion technology installation onboard a ferry, according to Tuomas Riski, Norsepower’s CEO.

Preparations for the retrofit are underway, with the installation scheduled to take place during the second quarter of 2018, Norsepower said.

Viking Grace will be retrofitted with one medium-sized Norsepower Rotor Sail unit that is 24 meters in height and 4 meters in diameter, becoming the first-ever global LNG/wind electric propulsion hybrid ship.

The 57,565 gross ton ferry currently operates in the archipelago between Turku (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden). With the addition of Norsepower’s technology, the vessel is expected to reduce its emissions, fuel burn, and fuel costs, decreasing carbon emissions by circa 900 tons annually.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution, which can be installed on new vessels or retrofitted on existing ships without off-hire costs, is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship. The solution is fully automated and senses whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel savings, at which point the rotors start automatically – optimizing crew time and resource, the company said.

To date, independent data analysis indicates that up to 20% fuel savings per year can be achieved on routes with favorable wind flows, sufficient sized Rotor Sails, and appropriate service speed, according to Norsepower.

In 2015, Norsepower and Bore reported a successful sea trial of Rotor Sail Solution, with two small units of the system installed on board Bore’s M/S Estraden, a 9,700 dwt roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) carrier. Measured and verified by NAPA, a maritime data analysis, software and services provider, Rotor Sail Solution delivered fuel consumption reductions of 6.1% for Estraden, Norsepower informed.

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